MLB Rankings: The greatest hits of the season’s final week

DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 28: Sam Hilliard #43 of the Colorado Rockies circles the bases after hitting a home in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on September 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 28: Sam Hilliard #43 of the Colorado Rockies circles the bases after hitting a home in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field on September 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits of the Final Week

5. John Hicks, Detroit Tigers, 53 percent

There wasn’t much reason to go to Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago’s South Side Saturday, even for a double-header. On a dreary, rainy season-ending weekend, the twin bill pitted the improving but still mediocre White Sox against the godawful Detroit Tigers stuck with baseball’s worst record at 46-112 entering play.

To make things worse for the visitors, they got hammered 7-1 in the opener and trailed Chicago 2-1 through eight innings of the second game.

In the ninth, though, a pair of players in whom the Tigers have invested high hopes finally stepped up, enabling Detroit to get through the night with a split.

The Tigers also got help, in the form of Sox shortstop Tim Anderson’s throwing error on a ground ball by Ronny Rodriguez to start the inning. Alex Colome retired Dawel Lugo on a fly ball, but one of those youngsters, Travis Demeritte, grounded a single into left that sent Rodriguez to third base with the potential tying run.

That brought up Hicks, a three-year veteran, in a pinch-hit situation. This has not been a good season for Hicks, whose .210 batting average is well off both his 2018 and career levels. To make things more difficult, Colome got ahead 1-2 before making a mistake in the strike zone.

Hicks took full advantage, pulling a pitch down the left-field line for a three-run home run that gave Detroit a stunning 4-2 advantage. The Tigers scored more runs on that single swing than they had pushed across in all 17 innings played to that instant.

And even though Yoan Moncada’s ninth-inning home run moved the White Sox back within one run,  it was enough to seal an eventual 4-3 Tiger victory.